Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora has become one of the most infamous names in the sport over the past couple years.
This is because of this repeated influence on sign stealing scandals.
At first, this was with the Houston Astros in their World Series winning 2017 season.
There, he was the bench coach with the Astros, becoming the architect of their sign stealing system.
Astros using cameras to steal signs, a breakdown pic.twitter.com/rncm6qzXxw
— Jomboy (@Jomboy_) November 12, 2019
Following this, he took a manager job with the Red Sox where he was once again part of another cheating scandal.
Major League Baseball imposed a one-year ban on Cora because of his involvement with each of these scandals.
Now, after serving this suspension, Cora has been rehired as the Red Sox manager.
Should he still have a job in the MLB, even after being a part of both cheating scandals?
In 2014, MLB allowed teams to challenge a call made on the field.
This would be done using a video replay system, for which each team has a video replay review room.
Starting in 2017, the Astros began using a camera situated in center field to relay signs to their hitters.
An Astros player would take the signs from the video feed, relay them to the dugout, then eventually onto the field.
Cora became the brains of the operation, calling or texting with the video room to get signs.
He eventually had a monitor set up just outside their dugout which the camera field played through.
Players would then bang on a trashcan to signal if an off-speed pitch was coming.
This continued throughout the season and into the 2017 playoffs, where the Astros won over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
For many of their best players, this led to clearly skewed home and away splits.
For example, in the playoffs, Jose Altuve hit .472 at home but just .143 on the road.
Home: .371 BA/.421 OBP/.743 SLG/1.164 OPS, 13 H, 3 HR & 10 RBI
Away: .211 BA/.231 OBP/.395 SLG/.626 OPS, 8 H, 2 HR & 4 RBI.
— Tyler Talks Sports (@Sports_Talker1) November 13, 2019
This revelation outraged many players in the league, especially those that were directly impacted by the Astros’ action.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, who was the MVP runner-up to Altuve, deleted a post congratulating Altuve after he won.
Cora Continues With Red Sox
While many believed Cora would be suspended for his actions with the Astros, MLB launched another investigation into the Red Sox.
It was found that, during the 2018 season, the Red Sox used the video replay review room in a similar way to decode opposing teams’ signs.
The investigation found that it was primarily the work of their replay system operator.
However, it is interesting that Cora’s team was once again part of a sign stealing scandal.
Regardless, Cora was suspended for the entirety of the 2020 season.
In November, just after the Dodgers were crowned as the 2020 World Series champions, he was welcomed back to the Red Sox with a two-year contract.
Breaking: The Red Sox have re-hired former manager Alex Cora, according to multiple reports and first reported by MLB Network.
Cora led Boston to the 2018 World Series title, but mutually agreed to part with the club amid a sign-stealing scandal. pic.twitter.com/YpCArXX41c
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 6, 2020
A Slap On The Wrist
For fans and players all around MLB, this is just a slap on the wrist for someone who blatantly cheated.
Cody Bellinger says the Astros got off easy considering the effect their sign-stealing scandal had. pic.twitter.com/MvEgsg7yiU
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 14, 2020
Being the architect for the Astros system in 2017, he messed with the foundations of that season.
Because of the Astros actions, there is both an asterisk on the MVP award and World Series champion.
Major League Baseball elected to not strip the team of their title or the players for their individual awards.
This just wasn’t enough of a punishment for what Cora and the team did.
Now, he is able to rejoin the league just as though nothing happened.
This isn’t right, and Cora doesn’t still belong in the MLB.
While he could have rebuilt his image over time, this is just too soon to return.
Instead, it appears that he has no reason to be apologetic for what he was part of.
The team still keeps their World Series and Cora gets to keep his job.